My Emerald Story: Storytelling That Creates Ripples and Sparks

In celebration of the South Seattle Emerald’s 8th Anniversary, we asked community members to share moments in our publication’s history that remain special to them.

by Barb Taylor

Join me in helping the Emerald create ripples and sparks everywhere! Information is Power! Imagine media for, by, and accountable to the community — thankfully, you don’t have to, because the Emerald already exists! As a founding board member living in a community so often treated as powerless, I’ve seen the Emerald grow to become a beacon of light that reminds us of our power, our wisdom, and our agency. But we can’t continue to do it without sustainable financial resources that allow us to thrive. Help us celebrate authentic community stories during the Emerald’s 8th anniversary campaign, Ripples & Sparks at Home, April 20–28, by becoming a recurring donor! 

—Bridgette Hempstead, Community Activist, Founding Board Member, & Rainmaker

Congratulations to the South Seattle Emerald for eight great years!  A special moment for me in the publication’s history occurred last March, when the Emerald shone a light on kinship care in South Seattle and on policy that supports those who are raising their relatives’ children through publishing the opinion piece “They’re Raising Grandkids With Little Help, and During a Pandemic. Can’t We Lend them a Hand?” 

When a reporter for the Emerald first reached out and told me that he was writing this article about kinship care last year, I was impressed with both his degree of background knowledge on this issue, and his understanding of the different forces impacting kinship care. 

As staff for the King County Kinship Collaboration, I have talked with others who want to tell the story of kinship care.  What a relief it was to talk to a reporter who already got kinship, who already understood systemic racism, and who already knew that it would be important to include legislative action in the article. He wrote a great article. 

But that isn’t the end of the story. Because of Emerald’s article, a local foundation contacted us and we have been working with them over the last year to address the ongoing needs of the kinship families in our program.  To date, the funding has supported over 90 kinship families, many of them from South Seattle and south King County.    

This sort of support is more necessary than it may appear. The majority of the kinship families in our program are not in the foster care system and do not have access to a monthly foster care payment. At the same time, they are doing the important work of parenting a child that is not their birth child. 

They deserve the same support that a foster parent would get and we hope the additional support we are able to provide can make a difference for them. Thank you South Seattle Emerald for telling important stories and for collaborating to make concrete changes in people’s lives! Your stories create ripples and sparks that touch the lives of so many people.

Help us celebrate our 8th anniversary with our ‘Ripples & Sparks at Home virtual event on April 28 at 7 p.m. with Ijeoma Oluo, Charles Johnson, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, and our own Marcus Harrison Green — with the music of Shaina Shepherd and Intisaar, plus Emerald board member Lucas Draper will make a custom cocktail/mocktail with you to enjoy in the comfort of your own home. RSVP here!

Barb Taylor is a coordinator for the King County Kinship Collaboration.

📸 Featured Image: Illustration by Haley Williams for the South Seattle Emerald.

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